NBA Power Rankings – January 9:

Steve O Speak

By Guest Blogger Geoff Nelowet:

Here’s my NBA Power Rankings for the week of January 9…

1. San Antonio Spurs — Sometimes it’s hard to see how the Spurs are so good, but with great defense, superb role players and veteran leadership to go along with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, this team simply keeps winning.
2. Boston Celtics — This is the best team in the NBA. Currently they aren’t completely healthy, and they’ve been without Kendrick Perkins all season. Still, they’re 28-8 and in first place in the East.
3. Dallas Mavericks – An excellent defensive team that wins games. They’re having their injuries with Caron Butler out for the season and Dirk Nowitzki slowed by a knee injury. I think the Mavs will be fine without Butler and they’ll continue to roll.
4. Miami Heat — The Heat have won 19 or 20 and are arguably the hottest team in the league right now. Their one loss in 20 came to the Dallas Mavericks.
5. Orlando Magic — Since the blockbuster trade, this team is 9-2, and they’ve won 9 straight games now. Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson have looked like great additions to the team thus far, and it will be interesting to see how effective Gilbert Arenas will be coming off the bench. Label them a dark horse to win a title this season.
6. LA Lakers — Old and uninspired. Kobe needs to face the fact that this is Pau Gasol’s team.
7. Chicago Bulls — This team could make a lot of noise in the playoffs. Strong on defense and Derrick Rose is having an MVP-caliber season.
8. Utah Jazz — They need to figure out how to use Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap together, but this is a good problem for a coach to have.
9. Oklahoma City Thunder – One of the more overrated teams of the season. Durant and Westbrook are great, but other than those two, who else do they really have? James Harden is still a question mark up to this point. Jeff Green is a role player. Serge Ibaka has shown some promise. They’re just not ready yet to win 60 games or earn a top two seed in the playoffs.
10. Atlanta Hawks — Well, the Hawks are back to where they were a season ago: an above average team with no chance of going deep in the playoffs. This is what the Hawks organization signed up for though, with Joe Johnson’s embarrassment of a contract.
11. New Orleans Hornets
12. New York Knicks
13. Houston Rockets
14. Portland Trailblazers — I feel bad for this team. Injuries have not only decimated their season, but their future as a franchise. Brandon Roy is looking like a shell of himself in the same way that Gilbert Arenas does (no lift on his shots, getting blocked more, turnovers in the paint), and Greg Oden is essentially a ghost.
15. Denver Nuggets
16. Memphis Grizzlies
17. Philadelphia 76ers
18. Milwaukee Bucks
19. Indiana Pacers
20. Phoenix Suns — NBA fans should be screaming for Steve Nash to be traded before the deadline. It’s a shame watching one of the most exciting players in the game on an irrelevant, poorly run franchise.
21. Golden State Warriors
22. LA Clippers — The most exciting losing team to watch in the NBA. Blake Griffin was essentially forgotten this offseason with every preseason ROY award going to John Wall.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves
24. Charlotte Bobcats
25. Detroit Pistons
26. Toronto Raptors
27. Washington Wizards — The second most entertaining losing team in the NBA. Wall and JaVale McGee makes things interesting.
28. Sacramento Kings
29. New Jersey Nets
30. Cleveland Cavaliers

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